Bath House's Dead Day is Lively
Written + photographed by JR
with opinions by Kathy DelloStritto, too
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The Bath House Cultural Center's 16th annual Dia del los Muertos is their biggest exhibition of the year, featuring work by 66 (All names are listed on the DARts Community Calendar.) local, regional and international artists working in a wide variety of styles and forms to celebrate, explore and honor people, things, and ideas that have 'passed on.'
The show was an open invitational. In a lively spirit of community, anyone who wished to participate, filled out an application, brought their piece(s) and on opening night, brought something to eat. So it's always a diverse show with plenty of good eats.
We especially like Mary Margeret De Franco's papier-maché Forever Friends, above, which was dancing near the gallery door, next to the sign-in. Its simple form and materials, direct message and playful jauntiness inspires affection and joy.
Kathy enjoyed working the puzzle, whose pieces comprised two separate pictures via different formations -- just turning the completed picture on one side over, didn't help. Althugh she never quite got the green side image to show itself...
JR liked Scott Kirkham's untitled steel skeleton, whose whimsical form would fit in with almost any art show theme. Both of us admired April B Lan-Kao's Oaxaca, a strangely eloquent black & white photograph of three Latin men -- two in colorful costumes -- sharing a bench with a life-sized skeleton.
Kathy especially admired two nearby photographs also in the hall, Mahesh Brown's Unlocking the Daylight, a white, smokey presence seen through an up-close keyhole, and Shawn Saumell's Leonardo, an apparitional photogram of a lizard. Unfortunately, the glass in front of photographs reflects the photog, so we can't show you these eerie images.
And just inside the front door, JR found Jeff Green's Communion an inspired medium for communicating with the next life.
JR never understood Diane Walker-Gladney's intricate little inkjet print, metal and wood, Scissors Series / Stages -- in fact, without his glasses didn't even notice that much of the texture is columns of sewing instructions. But he's even more fascinated with all the piece's intricasies, now that he can blow the digital image up enough to read all its minutiae.
Talk about minutiae, Kathy did not care at all for Phil Roger's Massed Vulture's Mountain assemblage (detail above) in the back room, but JR liked its audacious bands of colors and fanciful collage of ideas and shapes.